A Cold War veteran who suffered cancer after being exposed to massive amounts of radiation has joined 1,000 other ex-servicemen and their families in a High Court battle for compensation.
Former Royal Engineer Bruce Collyer, 71, of Manor Road, Deal, was stationed on Christmas Island in the South Pacific in 1959 – a year after the UK government dropped six thermo-nuclear test bombs on it.
Mr Collyer, a father of two daughters who have also been ill with the disease, blames his form of leukaemia and skin cancer on living and working with the radiation during the clear-up.
But he said he cannot prove his daughter’s illnesses are linked.
Mr Collyer, who was just 22 and on National Service when he arrived on Christmas Island, said: “I knew the bombs had gone off in the area but we were never told there was any hazard.
“People who had worked in the radiation areas had badges which measured the level of radiation on them, but we didn’t have them.
“We didn’t have any protective clothes, we spent most of our time in shorts.”
Mr Collyer is a member of the British Nuclear Test Veterans Association, which has brought the high-profile case against the Ministry of Defence to the High Court.
The High Court case against the Ministry of Defence (MOD) began on Wednesday, January 21.
For more details see this week's East Kent Mercury.